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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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President Barack Obama addressed a large crowd at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Obama said he plans to seek negotiations with Russia for cuts in nuclear weapons


After U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed hot-button issues like America's surveillance programs during his visit to Berlin on Wednesday, the leaders addressed them with reporters.

Obama visited Germany, the United States' largest European trading partner, after attending a G8 conference earlier this week in Northern Ireland. Below is a quick look at what Obama said Wednesday -- a few hours before he spoke to the public at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate -- on European concerns about U.S. surveillance programs, Russia's disagreement with the United States over Syria, and more:

1) Germany still leery about U.S. surveillance

Merkel and Obama discussed Germany's concerns about the U.S. PRISM program, which monitors e-mails, photos, search histories and other data from American-based Internet companies. Merkel told reporters that she appreciates U.S. cooperation with Germany on cybersecurity, but will continue to discuss with U.S. officials the "question of balance or proportionality" of government snooping on the Internet.

Obama stressed that "this is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary e-mails of German citizens or American citizens," but that it's a "circumscribed, narrow system, directed at us being able to protect our people, and all of it is done under the oversight of the courts." The programs have stopped threats, he said -- including some in Germany.

Obama said when he gets back home, he'll try to declassify more information about the programs and have officials "work very closely with our German intelligence counterparts so that they have clarity and assurance that they are not being abused."

2) Obama not shaken by halt in Afghan talks

A reporter asked Obama how the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai could seemingly be on different pages, after Karzai on Wednesday shelved security talks with the United States amid friction over planned U.S. peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

Obama didn't seem rattled. "We had anticipated that at the outset there were going to be some areas of friction, to put it mildly, in getting this thing of the ground," he said. The Taliban and other Afghans have "been fighting for a very long time. There's enormous mistrust."

"I think President Karzai himself recognizes the need for political reconciliation. The challenge is, how do you get those things started while you're also at war? My hope is ... that despite those challenges, the process will proceed."

3) On Russia's support for Syria's president

Obama was asked how peace could ever come to Syria when the United States and its allies support the opposition while Russia supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Obama didn't dispute the premise that Russia and America are backing opposite sides, but chose to highlight what they publicly hold in common: A desire for peace talks in Geneva.

Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin "believes what would replace Assad is worse than Assad himself."

"(But) what I think will become more and more apparent in the coming weeks and months is that without a different government, you can't bring peace, and in fact you're going to see sectarian divisions get worse and worse," Obama said.

4) We still love you, Europe

Obama talked up negotiations for a new trans-Atlantic trade pact between the United States and the European Union. And he took the opportunity to allay concerns that the United States might be taking Europe for granted while it courts countries in Asia.

"I know that here in Germany, sometimes there has been talk that the trans-Atlantic alliance is fading in importance, that the United States has turned its attention more towards Asia and the Pacific," Obama said. "In both conversations with Chancellor Merkel and earlier with your president, I reminded them that from our perspective, the relationship with Europe remains the cornerstone of our freedom and our security -- that Europe is our partner in almost everything that we do."

If the free-trade negotiations succeed, he said, "we can grow economies on both sides of the Atlantic, create jobs, improve efficiency, (and) improve productivity and our competitiveness around the world."

5) No counterterorrism drones launched from Germany, Obama says

Obama, asked about America's use of unmanned drones to target terror suspects, reiterated what he's said in recent weeks: that the United States is thinking carefully about how it uses the technology.

Interestingly, he made it a point to say that the United States doesn't launch drones from Germany for counterterrorism efforts.

"I can say though that we do not use Germany as a launching point for unmanned drones ... as part of our counterterrorism activities. There have been some reports here in Germany that that might be the case, but that is not," he said.

 

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